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Employee or Entrepreneur: Why Building Your Own Business Is Still a Great Career Choice
Taking the leap from being an employee to starting your own business can be pretty intimidating. A lot of people are put off the idea because they think it’s too risky. Dylan Shively isn’t one of those people.
Dylan is an army veteran who worked as a manager for Verizon before setting up his own credit repair firm, the James Warren Group. He was recently interviewed on the Local Talent podcast with Jason Setzer. Dylan compared his experience as an employee to his time as an entrepreneur.
He rounds up the three big advantages that employees have over entrepreneurs, and the one reason that it’s still worth it to pursue your dream of starting your own business:
When You’re an Employee, Your Boss Pays You to Learn
Dylan counts his time at Verizon as his business education: “That’s where the comfortability of hiring, firing training business, like actual real big boy business stuff happened,” he tells Jason.
This is an enormous privilege, as employees learn the tricks of the trade on someone else’s dime. So if you’re working for someone else, make the most of it and absorb as much as you can. If you’re working for a bad company or under a bad manager, it’s also a great lesson in how not to do it.
Employees Are Part of a Team
As an entrepreneur, you’re on your own and have to manage all aspects of your business. Employees, on the other hand, can specialize in one particular area, which is the case in James Warren Credit Repair. Dylan readily admits that when he needs new ideas about credit repair processes, he asks his employees first as they have more experience than him.
His personal policy is to “Shut up and listen,” giving his employees a chance to speak up: “When we have meetings, I do a whole lot more listening than talking. Because things that were developed in my company today, some of the greatest parts of what make us who we are, was done by my employees, not by me”. This system benefits the employees who gain experience and feel valued, and Dylan as he gets to use the best insights from his team.
Employees Get More Recognition Than Entrepreneurs
If you’re motivated by receiving praise and attention, being an entrepreneur might not be for you. You have to be self-motivated and driven to put yourself out there every day to grow your business from the ground up. If you’re an employee, you tend to get more recognition, both from your employer and from customers or clients you interact with. If an employee messes up, it’s because their boss did something wrong by not training them properly.
That recognition can also be financial too, as a good boss will always cut their salary before they drop their employees’ wages. Dylan admits to Jason that he’s actually the lowest paid person at James Warren Credit Repair because he wants to take care of others before himself.
So Why be an Entrepreneur? To Build the Life You Want
If after reading those three advantages of being an employee over being an entrepreneur you’re still excited about your business dreams, Dylan’s advice would be to go for it. Today he’s licensed to perform credit repair in all 50 states, with 38 staff underneath him, and a 10-year plan to sell his business on to the highest bidder. He moved to Texas and has built a life for himself where he’s happy and in control.
Dylan gives the advice that he wishes he’d heard before becoming an entrepreneur: “What stops people from the transition of the W2 to a 1099 position or just the overall starting their own business is that they get too caught up in the thoughts of “What if this doesn’t work? What if this happens? What if this happens?” And there’s never one time that the thought comes “What if it goes right?”” Because if you put in the hard work and you show up every day, your dreams will succeed and you can get to where you want to be.
If you’re setting out on your own entrepreneurial journey, let Jason and the team know about it! You can get in touch with Local Talent via the Facebook page. Make sure to subscribe to Local Talent: The Entrepreneur’s Handbook podcast to hear more funny and interesting interviews on Texas entrepreneurship with Jason Setzer and his special guests.
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